Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Of course YOU'D say that

Kenny had another great point in his lecture on Monday:

"Now, all of you have certain beliefs that you feel strongly about, and I'm sure that all of you know for certain that you believe those things for really good reasons -- because they are true. But when you look around at everyone else, and they happen to believe something else, you're inclined to think that they believe those things because 'they're that kind of person.' "

In other words, "psychology precedes philosophy." We can see clearly in other people the fact that beliefs stem directly out of how people think . . . but we don't often consider ourselves in the same light. We can't really take our values and beliefs at face value, unless we first consider where they come from. Why we believe is often more important than what it is that we believe.

So, can I look at myself this way? Is there anything that I believe for no good reason, other than "I'm that kind of person"? The only thing I could think of was my Protestant work-ethic . . . I believe that hard-working people are morally superior to people who aren't hard-working. But I can also see that that's because I'm hard-working. I still genuinely believe there is merit in hard work . . . but possibly not as much as I had previously thought.


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